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Fighting in Allah's cause

Reader comment on item: The Pentagon Looks at the Koran
in response to reader comment: Answer the question

Submitted by Henrik Ræder Clausen (Denmark), Oct 10, 2006 at 17:46

"The article is about Koran, not Hadiths, so leave Hadiths out of this, please."

Why? Because the Hadith would prove me right without breaking a sweat? OK, just for the fun of the game, I'll restrict myself a bit. But do remember that the Hadith is also 'holy' scripture and shows the example that Muhammad set for Muslims. They're relevant and should be studied.

You did not tell us what you found wrong with fighting in the way of God. I don't see anything wrong. Do you?

I most certainly do.

And what is wrong in fighting in the cause of Allah? What does Al Quran say about fighting in the cause of Allah?

Chapter 4/75: And why should you not fight in the way of God, while the defenseless among the men, women and children say "Our Lord, deliver us from this town. Its people are oppressive. And make for us from your presence a guardian, and make for us from your presence a helper."

This is but an excuse. If you go through the life story of Muhammad, you'll find that this supposed 'oppression' was merely that they rejected Muhammad's claim to be a prophet, presumably because he could not keep the legends straight, and because he switched between monotheistic and polytheistic in his last year in Mecca (the Satanic Verses incident). Worshipping Al-Rahman, Allah, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, or Manat. Still, it was only verbal rejection. The worst anyone ever did against him before he himself took to arms was to drag him around a bit (that's in Ibn Ishaq page 131). That is NOT justification for taking up plunder and killing.

Chapter 2/190: And fight in the way of God against those who fight you, and do not aggress. Surely God does not love the aggressors.

Is it wrong to fight to defend the oppressed men, women and children? Is wrong to fight those who fight you. Find anything wrong in these verses? I think not.

OK, several things here.
First, my translation reads 'transgressor', not 'aggressor'. That does not help you much, though. If Allah really hates the aggressor, Muhammad must be spending his sorry afterlife in the deepest levels of Hell. The Hadith, which you tried to count out, is still the only reasonably reliable source to his life, and he personally commanded or guided more than 70 raids and battles that were clearly aggressive. Only the battle at Uhud and the Battle of the Trench were defensive battles, and both were reactions to the extensive plunder committed by Muhammad and the early Muslims, attempting to put and end to his disturbance of the peace and the normal trade. Still, I'm using only Islamic sources for this, and I have the books right here with me.

Then you conveniently left out the footnote in the Quran I have quoted for you already. I'll repeat it, and hope you'll get it this time. It reads:

Noble Qur'an 2:190 Footnote: "Jihad is holy fighting in Allah's Cause with full force of numbers and weaponry. It is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars. By Jihad Islam is established, Allah's Word is made superior (which means only Allah has the right to be worshiped), and Islam is propagated. By abandoning Jihad Islam is destroyed and Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim. He who tries to escape from this duty, or does not fulfill this duty, dies as a hypocrite."

Third, lets get things into context - the next verse reads:
2:191: And kill them whereever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And al-Fithnat (disbelief) is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Mecca), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

Worth noting is that Muhammad personally broke the instruction of 2:191 to not fight people at Mecca unless they had attacked first. His conquest of Mecca was unprovoked.

It is a very noble cause, I think. So I don't see any problem with the Koranic verses that you quoted.

If you still believe it to be noble after the above, I'll give you a score more Quran quotes:

Qur'an 2:193 "Fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief) and religion is only for Allah. But if they cease/desist, let there be no hostility except against infidel disbelievers."

My take is that this is in response to what happened after the Satanic Verses, where the Meccans were really unhappy with him. Unfortunately, the entire year from he entered the Satanic Verses deal until his escape to Medina has been erased from written history. Looks like the Quresh eventually threw Muhammad out of the Ka'aba, and he decided that to be sufficient justification to take up weapons against them:

Qur'an 2:217 "They question you concerning fighting in the sacred month. Say: ‘Fighting therein is a grave (matter); but to prevent access to Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, to expel its members, and polytheism are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they make you renegades from your religion. If any of you turn back and die in unbelief, your works will be lost and you will go to Hell. Surely those who believe and leave their homes to fight in Allah's Cause have the hope of Allah's mercy."

Qur'an 2:244 "Fight in Allah's Cause, and know that Allah hears and knows all."

Qur'an 2:246 "He said: ‘Would you refrain from fighting if fighting were prescribed for you?' They said: ‘How could we refuse to fight in Allah's Cause?'"

Qur'an 3:154 "Say: ‘Even if you had remained in your houses, those ordained to be slaughtered would have gone forth to the places where they were to slain."

Qur'an 4:74 "Let those who fight in Allah's Cause sell this world's life for the hereafter. To him who fights in Allah's Cause, whether he is slain or victorious, We shall give him a reward."
Qur'an 4:75 "What reason have you that you should not fight in Allah's Cause?" "What is wrong with you that you do not fight for Allah?"
Qur'an 4:76 "Those who believe fight in the Cause of Allah."
Qur'an 4:77 "Have you not seen those to whom it was said: Withhold from fighting, perform the prayer and pay the zakat. But when orders for fighting were issued, a party of them feared men as they ought to have feared Allah. They say: ‘Our Lord, why have You ordained fighting for us, why have You made war compulsory?'"
Qur'an 4:78 "Wherever you are, death will find you, even if you are in towers strong and high! So what is wrong with these people, that they fail to understand these simple words?"

Qur'an 8:5 "Your Lord ordered you out of your homes to fight for the true cause, even though some Muslims disliked it, and were averse (to fighting)."

This one is important for suicide bombers today. Special attention here:

Qur'an 8:65 "O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding."

No protection for those who do not fight:
Qur'an 8:72 "Those who accepted Islam and left their homes to fight in Allah's Cause with their possessions and persons, and those who gave (them) asylum, aid, and shelter, those who harbored them—these are allies of one another. You are not responsible for protecting those who embraced Islam but did not leave their homes to fight until they do so."

Qur'an 9:5 "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war."

Qur'an 9:14 "Fight them and Allah will punish them by your hands, lay them low, and cover them with shame. He will help you over them."

Qur'an 9:29 "Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission."

Qur'an 9:38 "Believers, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth and fight in Allah's Cause you cling to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? Unless you go forth, He will afflict and punish you with a painful doom and put others in your place."

Qur'an 9:88 "The Messenger and those who believe with him, strive hard and fight with their wealth and lives in Allah's Cause."

Qur'an 9:111 "The Believers fight in Allah's Cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed."

Qur'an 61:2 "O Muslims, why say one thing and do another? Grievously odious and hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not. Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in a battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure."

That should do for now. There are many more quotes to show, and then the Hadith that shows the context these quotes were given in.

If you still believe this is a 'very noble cause', I'll count you among the 'Blood and honour' worshippers :)

I recommend that you read the life story of Muhammad, for instance by Ibn Ishaq. He lists all the battles, describes the circumstances, tells about killing and enslaving the local Jews - and doesn't even try to pretend that the Jews had attacked Muhammad or the Muslims. They obviously had no weapons at all!

'Very noble cause'? Now, please explain yourself...


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